Daily rant

Posted: August 14, 2012 in Life, Stupidity
Tags: , , , , ,

We just returned to Uruguay after 2 months in Chile. It’s already noticeably more fucked here. 20% increase in food prices SINCE WE LEFT. On LOCALLY MADE stuff! I attribute it to the inflationary ratcheting mechanism whereby the peso loses a little value vs the dollar, either by UY inflation or USD deflation, the UY merchants hike the price in a reactionary way to compensate, and then never reduce the price. They then become accustomed to it, until the next peso devaluation. Repeat process.

This year UY increased construction worker minimum wage by 22%, along with an additional 22% increase in BPS taxes for said labor. Which goes hand in hand with last year’s labor and BPS hike. Which put a damper on construction, including ours; were were ready to push the button on the construction of a second house, until we saw that we would be paying some USD$70,000 worth of taxes to construct it, so it can no longer be done within the budget we had drawn up.

OH– and this is all nicely timed with the removal of bank secrecy for Argentines looking to bank or invest in property in UY. Builders are now marching and rioting and going on strike because they are being laid off from construction projects. Some construction projects are stopping completely due to lack of available flight capital from Argentina and shrinking input from the EU.

“How dare you run out of OUR money!?” is their attitude.

“Hey, in order to protest our being laid off because there are too many of us and we don’t work enough, let’s stop working completely! That’ll show everyone!”

Add to that the discussion, passage, and finalization of new taxes on foreign-earned income for all other expats. Which was then repealed to give them a 5-year amnesty, just in time to maybe get their residency or passports, if they ever get it (what a joke we all know that to be now). But hey, we’re thinking of your best interests, foreign investors! All that talk about raping your wallets, that was just political rhetoric. We’re really friendly. Really.

And our banking? That’s so stable that our employees are always going on strike, shutting down entire branches, and so we have reduced opening and working to 5 hours per day to give you the best customer experience possible. Oh, and now we’ve made it so that unless you are withdrawing more than 30,000 pesos (USD$1500) in a single transaction, our tellers will refuse to even deal with you. You’ll have to go to the ATM that tells you that you must change your pin before you can withdraw your money and then doesn’t let you change your pin. And so now we only need one guy in there, and 2 SWAT team thugs to protect him from angry customers. That and the removal of banking secrecy for Argentines, your biggest customer base. But it’s stable, really! That makes it really stable!

Just like the “residency is easy and granted in 6 months” stuff. And the passports for 5-year single and 3-year married residents. It’s guaranteed in the law. Really. And we clearly respect the law. Really! You can trust us 100%

Hey, where did everyone go?

Way to go, Uruguay!

Seriously, I am willing to bet that you start to see significant unemployment exploding here, and accompanying demonstrations, and families and whole communities unable to feed themselves. How Uruguayans can afford to exist boggles my mind. Their cost of living has literally doubled in the last few years and it wasn’t cheap to begin with.

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